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Chia seeds were originally cultivated and grown in Mexico and considered a staple crop, along with corn and beans. These grains — resembling watermelon seeds, pack a lot of nutrition and come in black, brown and white colors. They were a significant part of the diet of Aztec warriors during ancient times, giving them energy and endurance during fierce battles.
Chia seeds are recognized as a superfood, with nutrition experts lumping them with nuts and dried fruits. People love to include these grains in their diet for many good reasons. Learn the benefits of chia seeds and why they’re a valuable addition to your daily plate.
As a superfood, chia seeds are loaded with healthful properties that can do wonders for your health, heart, brain, skin and overall well-being. Including them in your diet can help you meet your daily nutritional needs.
Chia seeds are chock-full of soluble fibers and mucilage — substances responsible for their sticky texture when the seeds are moistened. Soluble fibers have several health benefits. They can boost digestion, support bowel movement and make your gut healthier. Leveling up your diet with chia seeds as toppings in oatmeal or as a smoothie will boost it with an extra nutritious flair and make it more enjoyable. As they’re easy on the stomach, they can aid your digestive system.
Even more impressive is that chia seeds contain all 10 essential amino acids the body can’t make, including leucine, phenylalanine, lysine, arginine and valine.
These substances are the building blocks of protein, so if you’re looking for a plant-based protein source, they’re your best bet, as 18%–24% of their mass accounts for these macronutrients. These tiny seeds may look insignificant but their protein content shouldn’t be underestimated. They’re essential for muscle growth and repair.
They’re also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, containing 20% of these healthful oils that are good for the brain, heart, lymphatic system and other bodily functions. Packing more omega-3 than flaxseed, what makes these grains a notch higher in nutrient value is their omega-6 acid content that makes your skin glow, hair healthy and bone strong. The next time you have your salad, sprinkle some seeds for an added texture and nutritional boost.
Chia seeds are a multi-nutritional source, promoting them to a superfood category and a favorite of many food enthusiasts. One portion weighing 100 grams has the following vitamins and minerals.
It’s not surprising chia seeds were once used as a currency for trading goods within the Aztec empire because of how nutritious they are. You’re missing out on many health benefits by skipping them on your diet.
Chia seeds are tiny but many health enthusiasts applaud them for their powerful benefits. Here are just a few reasons to include them in your diet.
They’re rich in soluble fiber, helping you manage and lose weight. Adding water to chia seeds plumps them to form a gel-like substance that makes you feel full faster after eating while slowing down digestion. Increasing your daily soluble fiber intake by 10 grams can reduce your risk of gaining belly fat by 3.7%.
Moreover, fiber is a natural appetite suppressant, meaning consuming chia seeds will reduce hunger and calorie intake. They can prevent overeating and help you manage your BMI at a healthy limit.
Heart diseases are a prevalent health concern in the U.S. Diet has a crucial role in keeping heart conditions in check.
Eating chia seeds containing a remarkable amount of omega-3 fatty acids can help improve your heart health and manage associated diseases. These grains, full of valuable components like polyphenols, antioxidants and fiber, can help curtail the risk of cardiovascular ailments, including high blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol. Your heart will thank you for eating chia seeds frequently.
Do you have a high risk for diabetes? Another health-changing merit of fiber and fundamental nutrients in chia seeds is lowering the risk of diabetes. Every 100 grams of these seeds contains 34–40 grams of dietary fiber, 100% of the daily recommended intake for adults.
Since the body can’t break down or absorb fiber, consuming fiber-loaded foods like chia seeds will prevent your glucose level from crashing or going haywire after a meal. This enables you to regulate your blood sugar in your target range.
Chia seeds are also among the few foods containing prebiotics, dietary compounds integral to the gut. Since their natural sources are limited, prebiotics are often synthesized into supplements, such as capsules and powders.
Prebiotics have many health benefits, like decreasing the severity of gut conditions and enhancing metabolic health. One review found that people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with constipation may improve with inulin treatment, a type of prebiotic. Besides soothing gut inflammation, sufficient prebiotics in the body may also support healthy blood sugar, triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
They also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, boosting your immunity while keeping you healthy. Eating chia seeds is like adding another layer of protection against diseases.
Their special microchemicals and omega-3 fatty acids — which are potent antioxidants — help decrease your sensitivity to inflammation, oxidative stress and substances that harm the cells. Chia seeds have solid nutrient profiles that make them extra good for you.
The best thing about chia seeds is that they’re a versatile diet addition, solving the meal preparation problem in a flash. You can sprinkle them as toppings in salads, substitute for flour in soups, mix in dips or add them to water. Prepare your baked, cooked, blended recipes with these tiny yet mighty grains.
The benefits of chia seeds encompass overall health. You won’t have to worry about how to incorporate them regularly to maintain your healthy plate as you’ll have countless options.